Although much more line with recent prime market rates the annual sale of Ballarat beef heifers have traded well under the circumstance.
With few remaining grass outlets left in the country, a small body of feeder buyers pushed hard the top end of the market while longer term speculators stepped to the rail to absorb the lighter bottom end.
Rates paid for the heavier drafts, 360kg and heavier, traded mostly above 250 cents a kilogram liveweight up to a top of $1220 a head while only a small handful of lighter calves were sold below $700 a head.
However, it was through the middle runs of the penning where large drafts of well bred breeders lines were limited that the demand sagged and rates of 220- 240c/kg became more common.
Graeme Nicholson, Elders, said it was a disappointment but a realistic fact of the current market environment that a large portion of the well-breeder lines had been sold previously to the live export trade.
He said this left the market of some 2000 head with a large portion of smaller lots which were not conductive to buyers seeking larger lines of future breeding purposes.
Mr Nicholson said that agents were very nervous before the sale wondering who would buy the cattle. But with most of the penning providing weights suitable for feeding good numbers were purchased for feeding on grass or short-term place onto grass for domestic trade.